Yes, much of "The Green Book" was cliched and predictable; you could almost smell the plot turns as they were coming around the bend. But, nevertheless, the movie has something very powerful to teach about race and class in America.
Books, challenges and a new documentary encourages participants to rethink the role of technology in their lives and homes.
Byron and Beth Borger launched their Dallastown, Pa., store during the faith-based-bookstore boom times of the 1980s. They bucked evangelical conventions by including Catholic writers such as Thomas Merton, tackling topics like racial justice and featuring books by spiritual formation proponent Richard Foster, whose take on the Christian life was considered radical. Contemporary challenges are different — and perhaps more threatening.
In Mark's version of the Jesus story, you won’t find the genealogy of Jesus, the exile to Egypt or the Temple visit when the boy Jesus impressed the scholars of the Law. The opening words of this shortest of the four gospels confront the flawed ideas of both the Jews and Romans of that day: “The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God,” heralded by the startling voice and appearance of John the baptizer (v. 1).
In the iconic movie “The Wizard of Oz,” the message of finding your place in life is dramatically staged when Dorothy and her friends enter the throne room of “The Great Oz.” Toto, Dorothy's beloved dog, dispels the magical powers of the wizard by pulling aside the curtain hiding a mere man controlling the sham sounds and larger-than-life appearance of the wizard.
The sole Gentile gospel writer, Luke, records that on the night of Jesus' birth an angel appeared with a message to shepherds in the sheep pastures outside Bethlehem. The pioneer missionary Paul presents this dramatic message of hope for all the world, using an image familiar to both the Jewish and Gentile world. On this fourth Sunday of Advent we focus on the grace of God offered to all people through which we become God's children.
Isaiah's message in today's study is a dramatic contrast to Jeremiah's writings we studied last week. Isaiah's “book” can be divided in half: the first 39 chapters are called “first Isaiah” and the last 27 chapters are called “second Isaiah.” This week's passage marks a profound difference with a word of comfort and hope. Has God changed his mind about these selfish people?